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Racism: America to Jamaica
The ability to travel and experience other cultures is a privilege. The other method of gaining such an experience is by reading or watching television. Upon several journeys to North America, I have realized that the country has a main problem that may never go away. It is called racism. It is not readily evident in the large cities. However, traveling through the small communities or suburbs, it is very evident.
Distinctive racial lines are drawn in this first world country. It is reinforced through television and entertainment. It is either you belong to that group or another group. There is no mixture of race denotations either. Once a person is mixed, they are classified according to their most outstanding physical attributes. For example, Barack Obama is classified as being half black and half white. If it was anyone else, they would have been black.
Social class and sub-cultural background also plays a role in the society, in terms of how the race card is issued out. There are situations where a black person may choose not to listen to Kanye West and instead groove to Katey Perry. This black person after being judged by physical appearance is again judged by social orientation. This person is then persecuted by both the black and white communities for not being culturally consistent with their physical appearance.
Jamaica to America
Racism in Jamaica is much milder compared by the standards set by the United States. Jamaica is predominantly a black inhabited country, so there are less incidents or opportunities for racial behavior or hate crimes. The segregation on the island is enforced through social and economic divide. America does also boost a system of severe social and economic divide. This is a basic function of capitalism and the freedom to exploit those less fortunate.
One of the main reasons why other nations are migrating to Jamaica from other countries is because there is no race persecution practiced in Jamaica.
Apart from the bright allure of racially motivated stories on the TV, I have seen it first-hand being played out in numerous settings and arenas. It is a shocking experience entering a racist country from a non-racist country.
Cultural observations in Jamaica also prove that our society is being influenced to think along racist lines. It is one of the negative effects that massive first world countries wield on smaller third world countries. I was not aware of racism at that level until I was around 15 years old. This is after being taught in high school by American white teachers. My sub-culture before that was rural and tourism based. Upon visiting the U.S.A. a couple of times, I had gotten the point. I must admit I was a bit slow and may have been sheltered due to my social-cultural background.
Experience in America
The first time I went to school in America, I started to feel the pinch of racism. In terms of even filling out documents, I was being streamlined into ticking the African-American option or ticking “other”. This was very intimidating because I did not want to be streamlined statistically. I was neither from the soil of Africa or America. The system wanted to know my ethnicity and my race. Most of the documents were collecting irrelevant information for censorship purposes. Such documents in Jamaica rarely streamline such information.
In college, I was now hanging out with a predominantly white crowd. My black girlfriend had informed me that her black friends did not appreciate me hanging out with that crowd. They did not say anything directly to me. This had given me the impression the black crowd did not even want to talk to me because of my blatant betrayal of my alleged social orientation. I tried to explain to some people that I may not behave in a stereotypical manner because I AM NOT FROM AROUND HERE.
I had also experienced an incident where a white student had accused me of stealing something, because I was the only black person at the scene. If the stolen item was not recovered, I would have surely been persecuted by law enforcement. The white kid that had actually stolen the item was released by law enforcement.
I have many experiences with racism, but not many in Jamaica. Another thing I had noticed when I do take strolls in the middle class and suburban neighborhoods in America is the people of opposing racial backgrounds cross the streets or turn back whenever they see me approaching. It is only the kids (all race) that really don’t care and never change their trajectory, sometimes they may even bump into me.
There is a point that a child becomes race aware. It can happen by watching American cartoons or it can be learnt from friends or parents. Children are very innocent and cannot generate thoughts of hatred by themselves. It has to be learnt. As a matter of fact, new ideologies have to be forced into the subconscious brain of children. The American entertainment system has the ability to propagate divisions amongst people with different physical features. This form of brainwash media is also exported to other first and third world nations.
I have also noticed that most racist persons do not have a clue that they are racist. They always make the mistake of making comments or taking actions that reveals their thought and intention of division. The unconscious racist is in a hypocritical state. These are the people that are offended by other races and resort to sending out subliminal (hidden) hate messages. They naturally perpetuate the system of division while voting for equal rights and justice.
They know it’s wrong but they can’t help it. They have Been Programmed.
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